Personal Essay on Medication Errors-Sample Solution
Nurses strive for perfection, but the work environment is pressuring, and often nurses make mistakes that can jeopardize a patient’s safety and health outcomes. Most mistakes involving nurses at work are unintentional; nonetheless, they can bear legal upshots if they lead to adverse events or a patient decides to push ahead with a lawsuit. Patient safety is an indicator of the quality of health and other significant aspects of protocol adherence (Mahrous, 2018). Nurses’ primary role is to ensure patients receive the needed care, promoting their health and well-being. Nurses promote quality of care and patient safety by supporting patients in their recovery journey and after discharge. Throughout my career, I have been involved in several mistakes, some life-changing, particularly in the first years of practice. I will discuss a nursing mistake I was involved in during my clinical placement.(Personal-Essay on Medication Errors Example)
Personal Experience with a Medication Error
Sharing this experience, I know most nurses can relate because it is a research-indicated problem commonly occurring in practice environments. As nurses, we play a fundamental role in medication administration to ensure medications are appropriately drawn up in prescribed doses, taken at the right time, and through the appropriate route. Nurses are integral in limiting and reducing the risks and mistakes associated with medication administration, including educating patients and interpreting prescriptions accurately to patients (Hanson & Haddad, 2022). However, every nurse understands that medications can be as harmful just as they can be beneficial if not administered appropriately. Medication errors commonly occur in nursing practice, and types include wrong dose, wrong route, dose omission, wrong drug, wrong tie, wrong patient, and lack of documentation (Wondmieneh et al., 2020). Research shows that nurses will be involved in at least one of these errors during their careers. (Personal-Essay on Medication Errors Example)
Nurses work with multiple patients on every shift and respond to different physicians who are the primary prescribing party. The workload can also be overwhelming, patients complex, the workforce thin, resources inadequate, and patient needs demanding (Tariq et al., 2018). These aspects often lead to burnout, work-related stress, frustrations, and lack of engagement, increasing the possibility of making mistakes. The preceptor in my clinical placement can be a witness to one particular incident when I administered medication to the wrong patient. It was to the end of my shift, ending at 7 pm on a Thursday, when I had to give a patient medication. I encountered multiple patients during the day, feeling tired, and I could not wait for my shift to end to go and rest. I felt sleepy and burned when a physician asked for a report about a patient I monitored. I worked on and monitored several patients, but two had almost similar names, and in this case, I will use Carsten and Castor, not their real names. The physician wanted Castor’s progress report, which I had prepared and was ready to hand in at the end of the shift. However, I handed in Carsten’s report, and the physician did not realize the mix of names. After reviewing the report, focusing on the pain scale, the physician prescribed some pain medication for Carsten instead of Castor and requested that it be administered medication before ending my shift. I administered medication to Carsten rather than Caster without paying too much attention to the second names or the mix of the names.(Personal-Essay on Medication Errors Example)
Luckily, the pain medication had no interaction effects with other drugs Carsten was taking; therefore, it did not lead to any adverse effects. I realized the mistake the following morning and shared it with my preceptor, who, together, shared it with the physician, who was disappointed but understanding, given that he had also failed to realize the mix of names, and everyone seemed tired. I had not committed a mistake before, and this one time impacted my confidence and belief in my career readiness, but I took corrective measures to ensure I would counter-check patient names and medications before administration. With this experience, I know medication errors and other mistakes are common due to a myriad of factors, including an overwhelming workload and a loss of concentration and focus toward the end of a shift. Medical errors can be limited or avoided using evidence-based approaches and effective interdisciplinary teamplay.(Personal-Essay on Medication Errors Example)
Multiple issues affect nurses in their working environment, including inadequate staffing, stress, job safety, workplace violence, overwhelming workloads, burnout, complex patients, and lack of collaboration that increases the risk of mistakes such as medication errors. Medical errors are common in the workplace despite their association with adverse events, including complications and death in worst-case scenarios. I was involved in a medication error by administering pain medication to the wrong patient, but luckily the medication did not interact with other drugs the patient was taking. Nurses’ primary role is promoting patient health and well-being, and they should adopt evidence-based interventions like advocating for an automated medication distribution system, to limit and prevent medication errors.(Personal-Essay on Medication Errors Example)
Hanson, A., & Haddad, L. M. (2022). Nursing Rights of Medication Administration. In StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing.
Mahrous M. S. (2018). Patient safety culture as a quality indicator for a safe health system: Experience from Almadinah Almunawwarah, KSA. Journal of Taibah University Medical Sciences, 13(4), 377–383. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtumed.2018.04.002
Tariq, R. A., Vashisht, R., Sinha, A., & Scherbak, Y. (2018). Medication dispensing errors and prevention. In StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing.
Wondmieneh, A., Alemu, W., Tadele, N., & Demis, A. (2020). Medication administration errors and contributing factors among nurses: a cross-sectional study in tertiary hospitals, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. BMC nursing, 19(1), 1-9.